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SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLAUCLA chancellor appointment

Tuition will increase for graduate programs following UC Regents meeting

By Dylan Winward and Sam Mulick

May 16, 2024 6:48 p.m.

This post was updated May 18 at 9:52 p.m.

MERCED — The UC Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs Committee approved a proposal to increase the tuition of graduate programs Wednesday.

The UC Board of Regents held its monthly meeting Tuesday to Thursday at UC Merced. Most of the proposals were passed by a 7-0 vote for a period of six years. However, the proposals for UC Davis were only approved for one year and will be reviewed at a UC regents meeting next year after questioning about the campus’ diversity record.

According to the proposal to raise graduate student tuition, supplemental tuition for the UCLA Environmental Science and Engineering graduate program would increase from $8,490 to $9,843 by 2028-2029. The proposal would also increase tuition for UCLA graduate programs in the School of Theater, Film and Television from $14,790 to $18,894 over the same time period.

The proposal also plans to increase supplemental tuition for UCLA graduate programs in architecture from $10,476 to $12,210 by 2028-2029. It also raises supplemental tuition for graduate programs in urban planning by around $2,500 over the same time period, though the tuition remains higher for out-of-state students.

Mariana Ibañez, the chair of the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA, said during the meeting that supplemental graduate tuition supports the purchasing of teaching materials, programming and specialized software. Some funds will also go toward local outreach aimed at historically Black colleges and universities, technical colleges and high schools, she said.

Ibañez also said the supplemental tuition money funds financial accessibility for students, adding that the program has moved from offering mainly one-year scholarships to providing multi-year financial support for students.

“The program has on a yearly basis increased the amount of PDST (Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition) funds dedicated to financial aid. These include scholarship offers at the time of admission, aid at the time of recruitment and funds to support currently enrolled students that are experiencing hardship,” Ibañez said. “Over the past three years, we have supported 100% of the students that requested need-based support with sums that ranged from $500 to $5,000.”

Regent Lark Park questioned discrepancies in diversity enrollment figures from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. The school saw the number of students enrolled from underrepresented communities increase from one to two in the past year, an increase Park said is an insufficient gain considering the school has 39 students.

Regent Maria Anguiano then proposed an amendment to approve UC Davis’ increases for one year rather than across several years like the other UCs, which was then passed.

Some members of the public expressed concern with the tuition increases. Ari Huffman, the chair of the UC Student Association, said even though her organization only represents undergraduate students, it stands in solidarity with graduate student advocacy organizations.

“We oppose any tuition increases,” said Alia Sky, the state government relations director for the UC Student Association. “That’s always been our position.”

However, University officials appeared united in their support of the proposals.

Renee Chow, the dean of the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, said revenues from professional degree supplemental tuition aim to ensure low student-to-faculty ratios, which can support student teaching opportunities and financial aid.

She added that new tuition rates still remain lower than at other public schools.

Chow also said the PDST increases aim to raise money to ensure diversity, adding that it is difficult for minority students to enter the environmental design field.

Ann Harrison, the dean of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, said the supplemental tuition increase will allow the school to continue to invest in programs aimed at improving diversity within Haas graduate programs.

“As dean, the three pillars that I have focused on are innovation, sustainability and inclusion,” she said. “The proposed PDST increases are critical to the success of our full-time MBA program.”

During the meeting, protesters calling for the UC to divest from companies associated with Israel chanted “Free, free, Palestine,” and they were asked to leave by CHP and UCPD officers carrying batons. Although the regents had previously discussed the University’s investments Tuesday, the meeting the protesters disrupted did not discuss divestment or the state of Israel.

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Dylan Winward | News editor
Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.
Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.
Mulick is a news contributor on the features and student life beat. He is also a third-year sociology student from northern New Jersey.
Mulick is a news contributor on the features and student life beat. He is also a third-year sociology student from northern New Jersey.
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